Friday, November 30, 2012

December schedule for Adult Forum

Hope you will join us at Forum in December, Sundays, 9:15-10:15AM, Vaughan Fellowship Hall.

December 2. Discussion led by Ed Klemmer on the answer to Pontius Pilate's question: What is truth? Discussing our definitions of truth based on: philosophy, theology, religion, science, common language, and the judicial system.
December 9. "The Second Half of Life".  First of two programs led by Rev. Dr. David Voss, a Presbyterian minister and pastoral counselor who has an interest in exploring the life of faith from a variety of perspectives. Using a recent book by the Franciscan monk Richard Rohr, Dr. Voss will invite us to think about how our achievements in building a stable and reliable structure for life (or what Rohr calls a “container”) can and often do become the kind of container that limits our ability to explore and grow as we get older. 
 
December 16.  Second program led by Rev. Dr. David Voss, focusing on the question, "How do we understand the stories that have clustered around Christmas that speak to all of us and yet puzzle us at the same time? Are they “just stories” or are they what someone has called “truth embodied in a tale?" 
December 23. Open discussion on the meaning of Christmas - Christmas past, present and future.
 
 - submitted by the Forum planning group via Cynthia Ball

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Praying for Enemies


Enemies

By Janice Campbell

For the last several months, my husband and I have been reading Rabbi Rami Shapiro’s blog.  He feels like a kindred spirit and we have come to love him.  One of his You-tubes revealed him walking a labyrinth and getting lost on it while people were watching.  How he laughed at himself and his humanity was not only unusual but endearing. 
Friday, November 16, in his blog, “Beyond Religion”, he shared his feelings on the bombings at Gaza between Israel and the Hamas.  The tone of the blog was different from any of his others.   He said he was surprised at his feelings but discovered that he strongly felt he needed to go and fight, basically because he didn’t know what else to do.  And he ended the blog asking if anyone had any other suggestions.

I was disturbed when I read this.  I cared about him and I didn’t want him to go and get hurt or get involved in the fighting.  That night I woke up and the thought came to me that what can be done is to pray for the enemy.  I realized that in the Jewish tradition, that was not an option.  But it was in my faith tradition.  Jesus blatantly commanded his followers to pray for their enemies.  I have very rarely done this.  But I thought that this was something I could do for the Israel conflict.  I could pray for the Hamas.

But what would I ask for in praying for them?  I was unsure.  And then I remembered an article I had just read in the fall issue of Tikkun magazine.   In Tony Campolo’s article, he wrote of a meeting he recently attended in Ireland with the Catholics and the Protestants.  Considering their history, he was uneasy about the meeting.  When he entered the room, things didn’t look good because the Catholics were on one side and the Protestants on the other.  But then a dialogue began and people spoke of the forgiveness they had experienced.  One man in a wheelchair spoke.  He said he had lost his legs in a car bomb and that he had forgiven the man who had set the bomb.  Another man spoke.  He said he was the one who had set the bomb.  The man in the wheelchair spoke again.  He said that his wife had died nine months earlier and that he didn’t have any children.  But the man who set the bomb had taken him into his home and was caring for him. 


(Click "Read More" below to continue ...)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Tuesday Advent Devotionals

Join together for a quiet reflection on Advent themes of "Light & Love" (Dec. 4) and "Peace and Joy" (Dec. 11) using music, ritual, centering prayer, and guided meditation.

Tuesdays, Dec. 4 and 11
7-8pm
Vaughan Fellowship Hall

Monday, November 19, 2012

Carpool to Day of Remembrance

For those of you who would like to go the the Candlelight Vigil and would like to carpool, please contact the church office Cathy Marshall at 919-395-2600 or cathyann8504@gmail.com.
 
Please join your LGBT friends and allies and Equality NC for a Transgender Day of Remembrance Candlelight Vigil on Tuesday, November 20, 5:30pm, at the Capitol Building, Fayetteville St. and W. Morgan, Raleigh, NC. The vigil is held in honor of those who have been lost in the past year due to violence against gender non-conforming individuals. A short sermon will be presented by Nancy Petty.After the vigil, come to the LGBT Center of Raleigh for a light buffet courtesy of Noodles & Co and non-alcoholic refreshments as well as wine & beer for a $3 suggested donation. There will be music and a spot for reflection in addition to other memorial activities.

Carols and Lullabies: Christmas in the Southwest

The Susie Allen Chancel Choir will be filling the sanctuary with the southwest sounds of "Carols and Lullabies" by Conrad Susa during traditional worship (10:30am), Sunday, December 16.

Doug Barrick describes the music:

"The Christ child’s birth is described through the moods and rhythms of Bethlehem carols using Biscayan, Catalonian, Puerto Rican, Spanish, Andalucian, Castilian, and Mexican texts set to instrumentation that is serenely lyrical at times and energized with rhythm at others.  Come prepare your spirit for Christmas through delightful and charming music."

Family Advent Workshop, Dec. 2

Children and youth, bring your parents and grandparents to this advent tradition.  Along with the usual fun, we'll practice for the Christmas pageant (Dec. 2, 4-7pm) and share a pizza dinner.  Remember to bring cookies for the cookie exchange.
- A Gathering of Friends event

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Be notified when something new appears on News & Chat

Use the "Get email notification" box to sign up for an email alert whenever something new is posted to CUCC's News and Chat.

I wasn't asked for a password nor did I have to "join" anything.  I simply typed in my email address, then entered one of the squiggly-letter verification boxes (type this word in the box).  Surprisingly, I even found the squiggly letters easy to read.  Seconds later I got a verification email.  I clicked on that link to say I wanted the email notifications and saw a "thank you" screen.  Again, I didn't have to join anything or fill out any additional personal information.

The next day I got one email with the previous day's post.  I haven't gotten any spam, ads, etc.

Thanks, Lavon, for setting this up for us.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Potluck at November Earth Sabbath Celebration


The Earth Sabbath Celebration for Nov. 27 in Raleigh at Community UCC will begin with a “Local Foods” Pot Luck at 6:30pm in the Vaughan Fellowship Hall. Vegetarian food is encouraged but all is welcomed. Drinks and desert will be provided. The theme for worship/celebration will be Native American style “Thanksgiving for All Beings.”  Led by Steve Halsted and Linda Rodriguez.

After the Celebration, the Justice in a Changing Climate Task Force will meet to plan for 2013.

- Submitted by Steve Halsted with a JCC note from Jane Smith

Monday, November 12, 2012

Join the Advent name tag experiment


When you come to worship during Advent, you'll find a table with name tag holders and blank paper.  Join the advent name tag experiment by writing the name you'd like to be called on your tag and wearing it during worship and fellowship.  Baskets in the narthex and fellowship hall will be available for you to drop off your tag on your way out.  At the January congregational meeting, give us your feedback about the experiment:  How did it help you get to know others at CUCC?  How could we improve the process?  Would you be willing to collect and repackage the tags one Sunday (a great task for a family)?  We'll use your suggestions to decide whether to continue to use the tags.

Why are we encouraging you to wear a name tag?  In a family, we know each other's names.  In a big family like ours, name tags help jog our memories and introduce new family members.  In the survey and at the retreat, some of you told us you appreciated the tags and hoped we use them more often.

Why aren't we using preprinted name tags?  Imagine it's your first time at the family reunion.  Everyone else has neatly printed tags, but you are new to the family so yours is in your scrawl. Feeling conspicuous?

- Submitted by Welcoming, Fellowship & Growth

Epiphany/Babies We Love of 2012 Finger-foods Potluck


Every Epiphany Sunday CUCC celebrates "our" babies born the previous year. So whether the new baby is in your home or you are a loving grandparent, aunt/uncle/cousin, etc., we want to celebrate your baby's birth. Tell Jane Smith BY JANUARY 1. Provide the baby's name and relationship to you, the parents' names, the birthdate & place, and send a photo if you have one. On Epiphany Sunday (January 6), we'll celebrate with a Babies of 2012 display.

Remember, everyone, to bring a finger food to share for this Epiphany celebration.  (No eating utensils will be provided.)

- submitted by Welcoming, Fellowship & Growth Ministry

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sisters in Spirit invites you Nov. 29th

To the women of CUCC -
Our next meeting is Thursday, November 29th, 7pm, where participants are invited to bring a list of ten actions they take in life that "ground" them and bring them a sense of stability in an ever changing world. For Kathleen Norris, it's doing the laundry. For Julia Cameron, it's calling an old friend from grade school or baking bread. What "grounds" you? Perhaps we can learn from each other, and give thanks for our many blessings as well. Join us Thursday, November 29th, in the Hoffmann Room to explore!


‒ Submitted by Marty Lamb

Economic Justice Task Force to focus on efforts for 2013

At meetings scheduled for Wednesday, November 7, 10:15 – 11: 30am, and Sunday, November 25, at Noon (both meetings in the Bradow room), members of the Economic Justice Task Force who met October 17 and 2, and any others who are interested, will further explore the following possibilities and any others that may be suggested in the meanwhile and, if possible, will choose the direction of the group for 2013. If you have input to this process, please let us hear your ideas!

Report on the October meetings
The Economic Justice Task Force met in September and October to discuss our organization and choice of specific action plans for the year. After the all-church retreat at the end of October, we intend to make a specific annual plan. Among alternative proposals, some involve working for structural and institutional changes to advance economic justice, while others involve face to face interaction with individuals and groups experiencing poverty or economic injustice. At meetings scheduled for Wednesday, November 7, 10:15 – 11: 30am, and Sunday, November 25, at Noon (both meetings in the Bradow room), members of the group who met October 17 and 2, and any others who are interested, will further explore the following possibilities and any others that may be suggested in the meanwhile and, if possible, will choose the direction of the group for 2013. If you have input to this process, please let us hear your ideas!




Some suggestions ranging from very ambitious to more modest: The ambitious possibilities for 2013 would only be attempted if CUCC can team up with other groups. We should judge our own energy and resources and avoid being either too timid or too ambitious.



1. Two factors that have contributed to Southern poverty are weak or non-existent unions and comparatively low wages paid to women (on average $ 0.72 for women vs. $1.00 for men), especially single mothers. Partner with the Center for Poverty, Work, and Opportunity at UNC (Gene Nichol), the Class Center at Duke, and/or HK on J (Historic Thousands on Jones Street; Curtis Gatewood) to work on labor issues. (Mac Hulslander)



2. Poverty. What is poverty really like? How are we going to learn realistically rather than academically what the problems of poverty are? Engage directly with poor people.

(Marge Eckels) Suggestions 1 and 2 may be mutually reinforcing.



3. Collaborate with the “Occupy Faith” movement, which is organizing in several locations “A People’s Investigation of Money, Debt and Power” modeled on previous truth and reconciliation commissions. According to their statement of purpose, “A People’s Investigation is an effort to restore a sense of hope by connecting individual stories of financial struggle to a more accurate national and



international narrative. By encouraging people to tell their stories, and by providing a more accurate portrayal of the roots of their struggles in our financial system itself, we will transform shame and alienation into hope and activism.” (Edith Sylla) Addendum: perhaps collaborate with the Justice Center. Consider taxes and how we finance public services. (Bill Lamb)



4. Become more effective in assisting unemployed or homeless people and others who turn to CUCC for monetary and other help. Have readily available locations and telephone numbers of agencies providing various types of assistance. Investigate what others are doing (e.g. the Hope Center at Pullen Church) along these lines. Other possible ways of assisting those in poverty: “Backpack buddies,” in which food is sent home for poor families on weekends. Other churches support this program. (Kathy Widenhouse)



5. Concentrate on volunteering to help a single organization that is active in an area related to economic justice. One such organization that many members of our congregation, as well as the CUCC as a whole, already support is Loaves and Fishes. Decide to broaden and deepen our connection in the coming year. Connect with parents of students at Loaves and Fishes. (Shannon Core)



6. Transportation. How did the United States get to the place where we are now with regard to automobiles? At present, we can no longer sustain the cost of maintaining highways. Germany requires that long distance transportation of goods be done by train. How can we dig ourselves out of the hole we have gotten into? What could be done about use of petroleum for cars? (Glen Core)



7. Energy: Hierarchical access to energy; Excessive share of energy being used by United States; Outsize influence of energy industry over legislators; Impact of energy extraction on environment; Fracking; Need for individual life-style changes to reduce energy use. (Steve Halsted)



8. Thinking creatively about the interaction of all the many factors involved in the issues listed above. What happens when people with few resources get in a car accident? What is the effect of not having good transportation? The effect of high gas prices on programs like “Meals on Wheels.” What happens when medical expenses exhaust people’s resources? Can we come up with new ideas and unique contributions to the solution of the inter-related problems of economic justice? (Greg Flynn)



9. Population. We have over-populated the planet. Should we be concerned about the size of families? Are people sufficiently aware of the problems of excess population and uncontrolled growth? Do people recognize the desirability of family planning and, if so, do they have access to birth control methods? (Ann McLaughlin)



Those involved in the October 17 and 21 meetings have agreed to think further about the various possibilities by which their names are listed and to present the results of their investigations at the Task Force meetings on November 7 and/or November 25. This does not mean that we are limited in choosing 2013 action items from this present list of possibilities. We want to hear from you! Perhaps as a result of what happens at the church retreat, more thought can be given to the inter-relationship of the activities of the Economic Justice Task Force and the activities of the other existing ministries and groups of the church. The different activities should reinforce each other rather than compete with each other.

‒ Submitted by Edith Sylla

Thanksgiving Day dinner together?

Would you like to join others for Thanksgiving Day dinner? Call the church office to leave your name. A week before Thanksgiving, Cathy will send an email to all those who called so you know who is interested. Then talk among yourselves to decide what you'd like to do. An easy idea would be to go to a restaurant together - no dishes for anyone - then go to a movie.

- submitted by Welcoming, Fellowship & Growth
A Gathering of Friends event


Community Thanksgiving Service

Join with members of five of our neighborhood congregations for a Community Thanksgiving Service, Sunday, November 18 at 7:30pm at West Raleigh Presbyterian Church. This is a new change from the past when it was held on the Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving Day.

Directions to West Raleigh Presbyterian

Carpool:  Parking on the streets near the church is limited.  Consider meeting others at CUCC's Dixie Trail lot at 7:15pm and carpooling to the service.


Here is a special  invitation to those who like to sing  from Tom Lohr, Director of Music at WRPC:
We at West Raleigh Presbyterian Church are pleased this year to be the host for our annual Community Thanksgiving Service, Sunday, November 18, 7:30pm. This is a Thanksgiving Service for our five congregations – Community United Church of Christ, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Fairmont Methodist, Pullen Baptist, and West Raleigh Presbyterian Church. We wish to encourage as much involvement from each congregation as possible. We encourage the church choirs to join us – we have extra copies of both anthems for use that night. We hope that each choir can spare some rehearsal time for these two anthems before the night of the rehearsal and service. We also encourage each church to wear their own choir robes – it’s always nice to see the colors of our various congregations. Those members who do not usually sing in the choir are also encouraged to join us that evening. We have extra choir robes, if needed. For additional information about singing in the choir, please contact your individual Choir Directors. We look forward to seeing you and sharing this Thanksgiving service together. The peace of the Lord be with you.

Congregational Meeting, November 18, noon

Congregational Meeting November 18 - There will be a congregational meeting following 10:30am traditional worship on Sunday, November 18 in the Vaughan Fellowship Hall. Agenda items will include:


1) Proposed budget for 2013

2) Nominations for officers and ministry members for 2013

3) Preliminary results from the retreat and update on the envisioning process

If you have questions, please contact Skip Stoddard (Moderator).

Two ways to sign up for the pictorial directory

Plans are under way for the publication of a new pictorial directory! We will be partnering with Lifetouch to produce our 2012 edition. We would like our new directory to include every member & regularly attending guest. We ask that you please take the opportunity to be part of this important connection tool and historical document for our church.


Photographs will be taken on the following dates and times:
Thursday, December 6th: 2:00pm - 8:30pm
Friday, December 7th: 2:00pm - 8:30pm
Saturday, December 8th: 10:00am - 4:00pm

You may sign up for an appointment IMMEDIATELY by visiting the blue Portrait Sign up box on our web site at www.communityucc.org and clicking the church directory link. For those of you who prefer to sign up in person, you may do so on Sunday after services, beginning on Sunday, November 11th.

Lifetouch encourages you to be creative with your portraits. You may bring props if you would like (musical instrument, family Bible, sports equipment, even the family pets) and you will have an opportunity to have generational portraits taken. If you plan to have generational portraits taken, please schedule your families at consecutive times.

Thank you in advance for being part of this important ministry to our church! We look forward to seeing YOU in pictures!

***Special Note: Lifetouch, a company with a passion for mission work, is partnering with our church to help restock local food pantries. Bring any non-perishable food item with you to your photography appointment and receive $5 off your portrait order.

- Submitted by Gray Woodard and Carol Clark

Pledges for the work of CUCC due Nov. 11

Fall is the time when we all look inward to ask what we have accomplished this year, as well as look forward to the future, asking what we hope to accomplish. By now, you have received your pledge solicitations and a questionnaire that asks, “How can my talents best help this church and enhance its outreach?” Please respond positively to this call and return the pledge and volunteer forms. Pledges are due by November 11.
-submitted by Stewardship Ministry


Collecting Christmas gifts for Meals on Wheels clients

Retirees Fellowship Group is sponsoring their annual collection of holiday gifts for our Meals on Wheels clients. All gifts are requested to be new and any monetary contributions will be used to purchase gift cards, which are especially appreciated. Boxes will be placed around the church to collect your donations beginning November 18. The Retirees will be wrapping your gifts on Monday, December 10, 10:00am – Noon in the Vaughan Fellowship Hall. Anyone who would like to help is welcome!
The wish list for Christmas includes…
  • Gas and Gift Cards
  • Holiday candy, cookies, and snacks
  • Gloves and Hats (no socks this year)
  • Holiday soaps, towels, etc.
  • Umbrellas
  • Fleece throws
  • Postage Stamps
  • Holiday Gift Sets appropriate for older folks
-Submitted by the Retirees Fellowship Group
A Gathering of Friends event
 
 

November Adult Forum Topics

Learn about issues facing our community and world from experts working to bring justice.  Sunday Adult Forum meets from 9:15-10:15am in the Vaughan Fellowship Hall.

November 11. Janet Bauer will be talking about Kenya and the nonprofit she founded to empower orphans and vulnerable children, "I'm a Great Child Worldwide."  She'll also talk about the country, the people, and the upcoming elections; and will show a brief video.


November 18. "Health Care Reform: The Triple Aim of Better Care, Better Health, and Lower Costs." Dr. Brenda Cleary, Aging Initiatives Consultant, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.
November 25. Thanksgiving weekend. No Forum   - Submitted by Cynthia Ball

Sing during Advent

The Susie Allen Chancel Choir invites you to sing with them during a special musical presentation for Christmas, Sunday, Dec. 16, at 10:30 worship.  They will be performing music from the U.S. southwest, accompanied by recorder and harp (they hope).  Weekly rehearsals begin Wednesday, Nov. 7, from 7-8 pm.  Questions?  Contact Anne Mooreman-Smith or any member of the choir.
-Submitted for Anne Moorman-Smith

November schedule for Monday Lunch Group

Bring your lunch and join the prayer and study at Monday Lunch Group.  Each Monday, 12:15-1:30 in the Hoffmann Room.

Monday, November 5 — We will read The Chosen by Chaim Potok from the The Jews, a Treasury of Art and Literature. (Note: The reading materials will be supplied by Sue. No need to bring anything.)


Monday, November 12 — Bill Bryan and Sue Cottle will discuss Kabbalah. Kabbalah is traditionally believed to be an inner and mystical aspect of Judaism. Now students of all faiths can use it to understand the nature of life.

Monday, November 19 — Stacey Grove will speak to us about the Torah. She will bring a Torah and show a video. (So part of this session will take place in the Fellowship Hall which has been reserved for the occasion.)

Monday, November 26 — an art program with details to follow.

— info provided by Sue Cottle and Betsy Towler